The Metal Gear universe (メタルギア, Metal Gear) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the popular Metal Gear stealth-based video game franchise developed by third-party developer Konami. The long-running series is famous in the Smash Bros. community for being the first third-party game franchise to contribute characters and properties to the otherwise Nintendo-exclusive Smash Bros. series, mainly the series' main star, Solid Snake. The logo was the logo for FOX, the unit that Naked Snake hailed from in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (also the former logo of Kojima Productions, the developer of the franchise). Due to copyright and as of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the new logo is an exclamation point, a reference to the part where Solid Snake was spotted.
The original Metal Gear was released on the MSX2 computer in 1987 in Japan and Europe, and later released on the Famicom/NES worldwide, and it was a moderate hit for its day. Originally the game was planned to be a fast-paced action title similar to Contra though the MSX2's technical limitations lead to severe slowdown and flicker when multiple character and bullet sprites were onscreen, making this sort of game impractical. Franchise creator Hideo Kojima instead retooled the game around stealth action, avoiding confrontation with the enemy when possible. Though Konami executives were skeptical about a game involving "hiding from the enemy," the game's success vindicated Kojima in the long run. A US-developed NES-exclusive sequel was developed by Konami's US branch called Snake's Revenge, with Kojima having no involvement in the game. Kojima was informed of the game's existence by another developer who suggested Kojima make an actual sequel to the original game. The sequel Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake was released on MSX2 in 1990 in Japan only, sporting significant improvements all around, and was moderately successful as well. After an eight-year hiatus, the Metal Gear series exploded into international stardom with the 1998 release of the seminal Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation. Presenting the stealth-based gameplay of Metal Gear 2 successfully in full 3D, as well as sporting unique fourth-wall-breaking scenarios and a gritty, mature-rated world and content that was refreshing for all the cheery Nintendo-inspired games at the time, the game was a huge hit, selling over 6 million units. Most subsequent canonical games in the series focused on the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid and were named with Solid in their titles, hence making the name Metal Gear Solid practically more famous than the name Metal Gear. The name Metal Gear Solid is trifold in reference: as a playful jab at Square Enix (then Squaresoft,) a reference to the 3D graphics it sported compared to the previous games and to its protagonist, Solid Snake.
The original MSX2 games would not be available in the West in their unaltered forms for several years until the 2005 Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence which featured a second disc containing newly translated versions of the MSX2 games. Up until that point, only plot synopses for the games were available in MGS1.
After Metal Gear Solid established the series as a major international game franchise by 1998, the immensely hyped and successful follow-up Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released on PlayStation 2 in 2001, shortly before the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee. (As a side note, Hideo Kojima allegedly "practically begged" to Masahiro Sakurai to include main character Solid Snake as a playable fighter in the game, but development of Melee was too far in to make the addition viable.) The game received critical praise for its gameplay, though its complex and intricate storyline somewhat divided the fanbase, as did the controversial decision to have the seemingly-inexperienced and "prettier" Raiden as the player character instead of Snake, a decision extensively hidden by the game's trailers. Practically in response to that, the next major game in the series was Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, a prequel to Metal Gear Solid featuring a much more straightforward and effective storyline, some of the most advanced gameplay and graphic enhancements ever seen on the system and a protagonist much more reminiscent of Snake in the form of Naked Snake (a younger Big Boss with MGS3 serving as his origin story.) After that, an game between Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid was released for the PlayStation Portable as Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, and it is hailed as among the best games for the system. Released in the late 2000s on the PlayStation 3 was the heavily hyped post-apocalyptic sequel to Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, followed by another Big Boss-centered prequel, the well-received Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker on the Playstation Portable (later upgraded and ported to Playstation 3 and Xbox 360), and a Raiden-themed spin-off game, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. These games were later followed on with two more prequels, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes in 2014 and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in 2015 on Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC via Steam. After Kojima cut ties with Konami amidst significant controversy, Konami brought forth Metal Gear Survive, the first Metal Gear game without Kojima's involvement, though it drew controversy due to its derivative nature, sporting enemies similar to zombies and gameplay too similar to modern survival games.
In between all of these canonical releases were many remakes and "supplements" to existing titles. Metal Gear Solid had two supplemental games named Integral and VR Missions released on PlayStation in 1999 while an enhanced version of Metal Gear Solid 2 subtitled Substance was released on PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox, and the PC in 2002 which featured new VR Missions and special "Snake Tales" that allowed the player to control Snake within the Big Shell in 5 non-canon scenarios. This was implemented to address criticism that fans had towards MGS2 featuring Raiden as the player protagonist instead of Snake. In 2004 the original Metal Gear Solid was majorly remade for Nintendo's GameCube, titled Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes and it featured the gameplay style of Metal Gear Solid 2. In 2005, Metal Gear Solid 3 received an enhanced version as well, subtitled Subsistence which featured the first version of Metal Gear Online in the series as well as newly translated versions of the MSX games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, and in 2006 and 2007, two "Digital Graphic Novels" for PSP based on MGS1 and 2. There have also been some non-canonical releases, including Snake's Revenge for the NES, a 2000 Game Boy Color game simply titled Metal Gear Solid (titled Metal Gear: Ghost Babel in Japan and Europe) that won critical praise for its gameplay, and released in 2005 and 2006 on PSP were a subseries of two games titled Metal Gear Ac!d, uniquely combining stealth elements with a card-based interface. Perhaps most notable is Solid Snake's inclusion in the Nintendo Wii fighting game Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the first-revealed third-party character to be featured as a playable character in that series. Although Snake would be completely excised from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, he later returned in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch, as part of the game's aim to restore every character that had been in the series thus far that had missed out on the fourth game, hence the tagline "Everyone Is Here." The game's reveal trailer had Snake appear on screen along with the "Everyone Is Here!" tagline to emphasize the point.
The Metal Gear franchise is essentially a series of stealth-based shooting games set in real-world Earth. Taking place anytime between the Cold War to some point in the apocalyptic future, a given game in the series usually sets the player in the role of an elite military operative, usually Solid Snake, who is often tasked by the U.S. government to sneak behind enemy lines and battle an eponymous superweapon named Metal Gear, usually a bipedal tank with the capability of launching nuclear missiles from any type of terrain due to the use of legs as opposed to treads. The series explores many themes relevant to real-world circumstances, such as the futility and immorality of war, nuclear deterrence, the psychological effects of warfare on our nation's adults and children, and especially the influence of political intrigue upon the military, and several of the games revolve around the concept of an "Outer Heaven" nation that is purely military, run by mercenaries solely for mercenaries to provide wars for soldiers so that they will always be needed and valued by the people, as an attempt by in-game villains to counter the political corruption of normal military forces. The series provides social commentary of a serious nature on these sorts of issues.
The first game chronologically is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, set at the height of the Cold War, where an agent of the governmental unit FOX (whose logo was the universe symbol for Metal Gear in Brawl), codenamed Naked Snake, is controlled by the player and is subjected to the machinations of the government. His first mission, codenamed the "Virtuous Mission" sees him attempt to rescue a Soviet rocket scientist Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov, who was forced to develop a new mobile nuclear missile delivery vehicle, the Shagohod. The mission goes dreadfully wrong when his mentor, The Boss, seemingly defects to the Soviet Union and takes Sokolov with her, and worst still when her new ally, the cruel GRU colonel Volgin detonates an American made nuclear weapon in the Russian jungle and implicates The Boss in the weapon's detonation, and Snake's support crew's American Combat Talon plane is detected in Soviet airspace, leading to severe political tension between the US and the Soviets, to the point of threatening nuclear war. In order to prove America's "innocence", Snake is tasked with destroying the Shagohod and killing The Boss. Snake is completes his mission and eliminates Volgin, The Boss and her super-powered "Cobra Unit," and is awarded the title of "Big Boss" by US president Lyndon B. Johnson, but is left emotionally heartbroken and angered by the experience, and he becomes angrier when he learns that The Boss' defection was fake, a ploy to obtain the Philosopher's Legacy, a microfilm detailing the location of Volgin's massive military finances. When Volgin unexpectedly fired a nuke on Soviet soil, The Boss was forced to lay down her life in her final secret mission so as to appease the Soviets, which she carried out loyally, allowing her beloved student, Snake, to assassinate her. In Portable Ops he must contend with the revolt of his former FOX comrades led by the charismatic Gene. During said mission, Big Boss meets an agent named Null, later revealed to be a younger Gray Fox. Big Boss also meets with a young Roy Campbell, who assists him with building his own army in order to better combat Gene and his supposed "Army's Heaven." Ultimately, Big Boss defeats Gene and secures some of his funds with which to start his own "Outer Heaven."
In Peace Walker, Big Boss works alongside Kazuhira Miller (Later known as McDonnell Miller, or "Master" to Solid Snake) and Huey Emmerich, Otacon's father, in a hectic mission across Costa Rica and Nicaragua in an attempt to stop rogue former CIA station chief Hot Coldman from instigating a nuclear nightmare using the eponymous Peace Walker, which Coldman considers the "ultimate deterrent". During said mission, Big Boss and Miller form the group "Militaires Sans Frontieres" (French for "Soldiers Without Borders") which would later be the basis for his "Outer Heaven" nation (Even going so far as to build his own Metal Gear weapon, named ZEKE.) Big Boss undertakes said mission at the request of supposed University of Peace student Paz Ortega Andrade (in reality a spy named Pacifica Ocean working for the Patriots-ran group "Cipher") and "professor" Ramon Galvez Mena (really a KGB spy named Vladimir Zadornov) who both turn out to have agendas of their own. To Big Boss' surprise, the eponymous Peace Walker weapon is powered by an AI system almost perfectly modelled after The Boss. Eventually, Peace Walker-Boss cancels its own nuclear launch sequence and willingly destroys itself by walking into the ocean while singing, seemingly possessed by The Boss' spirit. Although nuclear armageddon is avoided, Big Boss feels betrayed by his mentor's decision and prepares to form Outer Heaven for himself. His situation is compounded when Paz reveals her true allegiance to the group Cipher and steals MSF's Metal Gear model, ZEKE. Big Boss disables ZEKE and Paz falls into the oceans around Mother Base, seemingly dying. The perpetrators of most of MSF's troubles along with Paz's betrayal, is revealed to be a group called Cipher, run by Big Boss' old CO, Major Zero.
This plot line later continues in Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain which sees Big Boss's army and home of Mother Base destroyed and most of MSF's personnel killed at the hands of the XOF group led by a horridly disfigured madman named Skull Face, who disguises his assault team as an IAEA nuclear inspection team who had been given access to Mother Base by Huey Emmerich. The Ground Zeroes prologue details Big Boss' mission to rescue two of his allies, Paz and Chico, from an enemy installation called Camp Omega, though the mission ends badly with Mother Base destroyed, Paz and most of MSF's ground personnel dead, Miller severely wounded and Big Boss knocked into a coma for nine years, which he awakens from during the opening of Phantom Pain. Said mission sees him reuniting with an aged but wiser Ocelot, a former GRU major that Big Boss encountered back in MGS3, as well as meeting a young Psycho Mantis for the first time, seeking out the survivors of MSF (Miller and Huey) and acquiring new personnel (including Quiet, a mute, scantly clad sniper) along with MSF survivors. With himself and his allies driven by vengeance, Big Boss takes control of Miller's mercenary group "Diamond Dogs" and steadily builds it into an army rivalling any major nation right down to the possession of nuclear weapons. Along the way, Big Boss (redubbed "Venom Snake") builds a new Mother Base and learns of a new Metal Gear build said to surpass all current types up to that point, named Sahelanthropus, although it is revealed that the true "weapon to surpass Metal Gear" are parasites programmed to kill the infected when a certain language is spoken. Skull Face plans to use these "ethnic liberators" to wipe out the English language out of revenge for his own suffering and belief that English, the world's main "lingua franca" restrains the world, as well as supply major nations and groups with Metal Gears and nukes to build a new, violence-oriented lingua franca of sorts. Snake and Miller come face to face with Skull Face once more, killing him and achieving revenge for everything that Skull Face (and by extension, Cipher) had put them through. However, at the end of the game it is revealed that the Big Boss seen in this game is in fact not the real Big Boss, but a "phantom" of him, specifically an MSF medic who was on the same doomed helicopter as Boss and Miller, genetically and mentally altered to resemble Big Boss in every way and carry on his legend while the real Big Boss formed his "Outer Heaven" in secret. the plan had been put into motion by none other than Major Zero, who had grown ashamed of how vastly the Patriots he created went out of his control, and apologized to a then-comatose Big Boss for what he had done. Upon learning of this deception, Miller, upon learning of this, is outraged and believes that Big Boss has utterly abandoned him. Out of spite, he vows to train Big Boss' sons along with the phantom so they'll be strong enough to kill his former friend.
While Venom continues his mission, Big Boss then recruits other soldiers to form the FOXHOUND organization, and through a secret government project named "Les Enfants Terribles" he uses his DNA to produce three genetic clones of himself as his sons, one of which would be codenamed Solid Snake. In the original Metal Gear, Solid Snake as a rookie operative of FOXHOUND is assigned to infiltrate the Outer Heaven stronghold in South Africa in 1995 to investigate the fortress, rescue captured agent Gray Fox and sabotage the nuclear Metal Gear weapon system inside. As his final encounter, he finds that the commander of Outer Heaven is actually Big Boss of FOXHOUND, who sent Snake into Outer Heaven in an attempt to feed false information to the States regarding Metal Gear, and Snake defeats him (or rather, the phantom, Venom Snake) in battle. In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake in 1999, Snake must perform a similar operation into the stronghold of a nation named "Zanzibar Land" to rescue a captured Czech biologist named Kio Marv, and then must defeat its Metal Gear weapon as well. Snake finds that Big Boss is the leading man behind this terror plot as well, having assumed control of Zanzibar Land in an effort to create endless wars so that soldiers will always be valued and desired by people, even raising child soldiers to further this goal. Snake dispatches him for good. After completing his mission, Snake leaves the military for the Alaskan wilderness.
In Metal Gear Solid in 2005, Solid Snake is forced to come out of retirement by his old commanding officer, Roy Campbell, when FOXHOUND becomes the new terrorist menace and threatens to launch a nuclear strike at the U.S. with a new Metal Gear weapon that was actually developed by the U.S. government and that they are trying to steal and use for themselves, unless they get the remains of Big Boss. The leader of the rogue FOXHOUND is a man named Liquid Snake, Solid's genetic twin. Snake defeats FOXHOUND and their elite operatives at their stronghold on Shadow Moses Island, and he learns of his genetic origins in the process. In Sons of Liberty, taking place in 2007 and 2009, a series of intricate, convoluted scenarios revolves around the revelation that an Illuminati-esque group called the Patriots are developing an amphibious mobile fortress called Arsenal Gear, armed with a large payload of missiles and defended by a fleet of Metal Gear variants, as part of a conspiracy to take control of public interests. Snake plays a peripheral role in the game. In the "Tanker" chapter, he infiltrates a US Marines tanker to expose the existence of a Marine-made Metal Gear weapon, Metal Gear RAY, ironically designed to combat Metal Gear derivatives. The mission goes wrong and the tanker is sunk by Revolver Ocelot and the Patriots, who frame Snake and Otacon for sinking the tanker and killing many marines stationed aboard. Two years later, during the "Plant" chapter set in the off-shore cleanup facility "Big Shell", Snake encounters rookie FOXHOUND agent Raiden and operates in disguise as "Iroquois Pliskin", a Junior Grade Navy Lieutenant. Snake also encounters the third of the Les Enfant Terribles brother, Solidus, formerly US president George Sears who went underground and attempted to rebel against the Patriots. Snake serves as a mentor tot eh increasingly confused and desperate Raiden, even after learning of Raiden's past as a Liberian child soldier. Eventually, aboard Solidus' seaborne fortress of Arsenal Gear, Liquid's persona resurfaces and possesses Ocelot, sending Arsenal Gear crashing into Manhattan whilst Liquid escapes in a Metal Gear RAY unit. Although Snake obtains a data disc containing data about the Patriots, it's ultimately a dead end.
Many questions are left unanswered by this game, though they were eventually answered in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, taking place many years afterwards, in the year 2014. Here, Snake appears to have grown very old in a short number of years owing to clone degeneration as well as his biology being specifically designed to naturally kill him sooner than most humans, a deliberate design choice by Snake's creators to ensure that Big Boss' gene code cannot be easily reproduced by enemy hands. As a result, Snake is now known as "Old Snake" in this game. MGS4 deals with concepts such as the war economy and post-traumatic stress disorder, of which Snake appears to suffer from. Snake is sent on a globe-trotting mission to assassinate Liquid Ocelot (Liquid Snake's spirit possessing Revolver Ocelot's body after the latter grafted the former's right arm to replace his own, which was severed by Gray Fox nine years prior) who is planning a violent insurrection that threatens to plunge the world into total chaos. The mission sees Snake reunited with such characters as Doctor Naomi Hunter and a now completely cybernetic and dehumanized Raiden. The mission even goes as far as to take Snake back to Shadow Moses, the setting of MGS1, which has since grown dilapidated. After a long and hectic struggle, Snake and his allies finally bring down the Patriots and end their stranglehold on humanity's freedom. Snake is once more confronted by Big Boss, alive and well. However, rather than fighting him, Big Boss peacefully reconciles with his son Snake, explaining everything he and his Snake Eater-era allies had to do with the Patriots. After euthanizing a now aged and vegetative Major Zero, Big Boss allows himself to be fatally infected by the FOXDIE retrovirus within Snake and passes away peacefully upon the grave of his mentor, The Boss, but not before asking Snake to live the short remainder of his life peacefully not as Solid Snake, but as David, the man. David decides to do so, even going so far as to quit his infamous cigarette smoking habit, with Otacon and Sunny Gurlukovich deciding to accompany David on his last days.
The most recent instalment in the series that takes place after MGS4 is Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a spin-off that focuses on the exploits MGS2's main protagonist Raiden, who had been remade into a cyborg ninja as of MGS4 and had become a cybernetic PMC bodyguard after the events of that game. When the person he is protecting is killed by a group of cybernetic assassins named the Winds of Destruction (As well as one member of the same group, Sam Rodrigues, severely injuring him by cutting off his left arm and wounding his left eye), Raiden once again outfits himself as a full cyborg ninja to take revenge on the group. During said mission, Raiden confronts the large scale PMC World Marshal, who have hired the winds of Destruction in a violent bid to secure domination of the US for its de facto CEO, senator Steven Armstrong. to make matters worse for Raiden, he must contend with his own violent alter ego, Jack the Ripper, resurfacing after decades of mental suppression. Though Raiden eliminates Armstrong and foils his immediate plans, he's unable to stop the reigniting of the war economy and sets out by himself on a crusade against rogue PMCs around the globe.
The series has improved and reinvented itself multiple times throughout its life, exploring different variants of stealth action along the way, keeping the stealth experience fresh for new and old players alike. Metal Gear 2 introduced crawling and knocking on walls to lure enemies away, Metal Gear Solid added first-person view for surveying areas and Metal Gear Solid 2 expanded on that with first person gun usage for better aiming and tactical enemy elimination. The game also introduced non-lethal weapons, the use of environments for and against you (such as realtime shadows and fire extinguishers spraying their contents around when damaged) as well as improved walking via the control sticks. Metal Gear Solid 3 reinvented the wheel largely due to its 1960s jungle setting. Players instead relied on camouflage to avoid enemy detection, used more primitive technology and their own senses to watch out for enemies in lieu of the Soliton Radar and having to capture or kill and eat animals and plants to maintain Snake's stamina level, and had to mend their own wounds with various medical supplies rather than rely on rations to refill their health bar. MGS4 retained a number of MGS3s changes, albeit upgraded to take into account the 2014 timeframe and the burgeoning war economy. The camouflage system was changed to the "Octocamo" system allowing for real time camouflage changing while remaining still rather than clunky menu usage, and players could also peruse a menu hosted by weapons dealer Drebin to buy weapons and ammo. From Portable Ops onward, players also micromanaged their own PMC by capturing enemies, converting them to their side and fuelling the growth of their armies by obtaining weapons and resources. Peace Walker and Phantom Pain emphasized this by changing the signature tagline from "Tactical Espionage Action" to "Tactical Espionage Operations."
List of games in the Metal Gear franchise
- Metal Gear (1987, MSX2)
- Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1990, MSX2)
- Metal Gear Solid (1998, PlayStation)
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001, PlayStation 2)
- Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (2004, Nintendo GameCube)
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004, PlayStation 2)
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (2005, PlayStation 2)
- Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D (2012, Nintendo 3DS)
- Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater - Pachislot (2016, Pachinko) (JAPAN ONLY)
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (2006, PlayStation Portable)
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots (2008, PlayStation 3)
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010, PlayStation Portable)
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker - HD Edition (2011, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (2014, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience (2016, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
- Metal Gear: Snake's Revenge (1990, NES)
- Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (2000, Game Boy Color)
- Metal Gear Acid (2004, PlayStation Portable)
- Metal Gear Acid 2 (2005, PlayStation Portable)
- Metal Gear Online (2008, PlayStation 3)
- Metal Gear Solid Touch (2009, iOS)
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
- Metal Gear Survive (2018, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
A popular story tells that during development of the Nintendo fighting game, Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima "practically begged" Sakurai to include the third-party character Solid Snake in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a playable fighter, but the addition was not viable because development of the game was too far in. As a result, no mention of Metal Gear reposes in the game whatsoever. What would eventually happen is that Snake would become a playable third-party character in Melee's follow-up, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Metal Gear debuts in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the first third-party game series to feature in the Smash Bros. series, generating an outburst of excitement across the game industry.
When the first Brawl trailer was shown and Snake debuted, Hideo Kojima stated that Solid Snake wouldn't be able to fight Shigeru Miyamoto's Mario in the game, because it would be dishonourable for Hideo's character to beat up on his mentor's creation. Clearly that was a joke, as the Nintendo World 2006 trailer shows Mario smashing Snake out of the ring in one scene and was said to have fought against Mario in a match against Sakurai.
- Solid Snake: Solid Snake appears as a playable character, relying not on guns like in his games but on CQC (close quarters combat, martial art co created by The Boss and Naked Snake in MGS3) and a variety of explosives, including his Remote Missile and Hand Grenade. Snake battles acrobatically and is seen using a punch-punch-spin kick fighting technique from the games, as well as his classic choke hold. He also seems to have a fantastic aerial recovery, thanks to the use of his flying camera, the Cypher. His Final Smash is the Grenade Launcher, which has him jump onto a passing helicopter and shooting players with 12 grenade missiles before the time runs out.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), Snake occupies the ninth column (miscellaneous characters) along with Mr. Game & Watch, Sonic, and the random option.
- Gray Fox: Gray Fox appears in his Cyborg Ninja form and attacks with a sword like Lyn and Samurai Goroh. His slices, however, can reflect projectiles.
- Shadow Moses Island: A stage set in the location where the first Metal Gear Solid takes place. It features searchlights, crumbling walls, and the appearance of three Metal Gear models. The stage also includes a feature that allows Snake to talk to his allies using his Codec, and have conversations with them about his opponents. To activate this, tap down on the d-pad very lightly. This easter egg is much like Fox and Falco's special taunts on the Corneria and Venom stages. It has been said that Hideo Kojima designed the Shadow Moses stage himself.
- MGS4~Theme of Love~Smash Bros. Brawl Version - A fast-paced version of the Love Theme from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots made for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The arrangement was handled by staff from Konami's Metal Gear sound team. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage. This specific remix is also an unlockable song in MGS4.
- Encounter - A remix of the song from Metal Gear Solid when Snake is spotted by an enemy. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Theme of Tara - A completely redone version of the Theme of Tara from the very first Metal Gear game for the MSX2 which played through most of the game when Snake remained unseen. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage. For people familiar with Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, this is the theme played when Snake is on a VR Mission in the game. It reappears in Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, as another VR Mission theme for secret character MGS1 Snake. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage. The tune starts with the opening jingle Operation Intrude N313 that plays during the opening moments of the game when Snake swims into Outer Heaven. Said theme was named due to Hideo Kojima referring to the song's rhythm as sounding like "ta-RAH".
- Battle in the Base - Taken directly from the PS2 game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, this was the music track that played when Naked Snake was spotted by an enemy while indoors within Graniny Gorki or Groznyj Grad. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Yell "Dead Cell" - Taken directly from the PS2 game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, this was the song that was used during the boss battles with Vamp, Fortune, and Fatman, who are part of the Dead Cell unit. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Cavern - Also taken directly from a title, this was the cavern background music in Metal Gear Solid that played in the opening Docks area. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Snake Eater (Instrumental) - An instrumental version of the main theme to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, this track is also taken directly from said game. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Theme of Solid Snake - Taken directly from the MSX2 game Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the second game in the series, this was the title screen theme to said game. It is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
- Calling to the Night - The vocal theme song of the PSP game and direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. It is taken directly from said game, and it is used on the Shadow Moses Island stage. This song also plays during Snake's Classic Mode credits.
- Metal Gear Victory - Snake's victory theme is the theme when you cleared the VR missions, but it is most known to be his game over theme from Metal Gear Solid.
- Solid Snake
- Grenade Launcher
- Gray Fox
- Iroquois Pliskin
- Naked Snake
- Metal Gear RAY
- Metal Gear REX
- Solid Snake
- Big Boss
- Liquid Snake
- Master Miller
- Mei Ling
- Meryl Silverburgh
- Naomi Hunter
- Gray Fox
- Revolver Ocelot
- Colonel Roy Campbell
- Hal "Otacon" Emmerich
- Solidus Snake
- Naked Snake
- The Boss
- Metal Gear REX
- Metal Gear RAY
The Metal Gear universe appears for the first time since Brawl. The universe's logo has changed to the trademark exclamation point due to copyright.
- Hal Emmerich
- Naked Snake
- Revolver Ocelot (Metal Gear Solid 3)
- Liquid Snake
- Solidus Snake
- Kazuhira Miller
- Snake Eater
Games with elements from and in Super Smash Bros.
Solid Snake, the main character of the Metal Gear series, premiered in this game, and is a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Theme of Tara originates from this game as well, and Gray Fox debuted in this game, albeit as a peripheral NPC that the player had to rescue.
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Theme of Solid Snake, one of the two intro themes is an unlockable music track usable on the Shadow Moses Island stage.
Metal Gear Solid
The Shadow Moses Island area from this game is a stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The support team, Roy Campbell, Otacon, and Mei Ling appear as background characters. Gray Fox, a major character from the game, appears as an Assist Trophy. Metal Gear REX, Metal Gear RAY and the GEKKO also make an appearance as a part of the background in the Shadow Moses Island stage. Many Metal Gear Solid Characters also appear on stickers, such as that of Big Boss, Mei Ling, Solid Snake himself, and the infamous Liquid Snake.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Snake's intro animation resembles his appearance aboard the Discovery's aft deck wherein his stealth camouflage system disengages and malfunctions due to landing impact, as he had bungee jumped onto the tanker from the George Washington Bridge. Snake's Navy SEAL disguise "Iroquois Pliskin" is an unlockable trophy, as is Metal Gear RAY, and Raiden and Solidus appear as stickers. Yell Dead Cell, the "Plant" chapter boss theme is a usable music track as well.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Facially, Snake has a full beard similar to Naked Snake/Big Boss's appearance in this game, and his alternate colours consist of camouflage patterns used by Big Boss during the Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater. Once in a while when using his C4 special move, Snake's C4 bomb may be shaped like a butterfly similar to when Big Boss molded a C3 explosive into a butterfly before placing it on the Shagohod's fuel tank. Naked Snake appears as a trophy, as does the Shagohod, MGS3's equivalent to a Metal Gear, and EVA and The Boss appear on stickers.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Calling to the Night, the game's ending theme, is an unlockable theme in Brawl. Gray Fox also appeared in this game, as "Null", a soldier engineered to be "perfect".
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Theme of Love is usable in Shadow Moses and is a remix of this game's main theme. Metal Gear GEKKO also appears as a trophy as well as a background element in the Shadow Moses stage.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Raiden is the protagonist of this game. Whilst Gray Fox himself is not an actual character in this game, his famous exoskeleton from MGS1 is a downloadable alternate skin that the player can wear, and said skin also comes with the Fox Blade as a usable weapon, said blade being the powerful bullet-deflecting katana that Fox used. Metal Gear RAY also appears as a boss the player must defeat at the start of the game.
- In the Gamecube remake of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Psycho Mantis reads off the Memory Card and tells the player what Nintendo games the player has been playing. Super Smash Bros. Melee is one of the games he mentions if the player has saved data for it.
- In Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, a Sony-centric fighting game reminiscent of Super Smash Bros. for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, the Metal Gear universe is represented by MGS2's protagonist Raiden, albeit with his fighting style and main costume being patterned after his then-in-development game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, making this universe currently the only one featured in both games.
- Metal Gear, along with Electroplankton, are the only universes to be entirely dropped from Smash Bros., with no content whatsoever in SSBWU/3DS aside with a few references. Ice Climber, while losing its sole playable character(s) and not having any stages in the same game, is still represented by trophies, a music track and the Polar Bear's appearance in Smash Run.
- Metal Gear was the first universe to have its logo entirely changed.